Today’s buyer is very selective when the time comes to purchase a product or service. Buyers not only expect more from brands, they also like to know what to expect. Why is every Target store set up the same? Why does McDonald’s feel familiar no matter what country you’re in? Because those well-known companies have mastered brand consistency.
Organizations that get this know that creating a consistent user experience helps customers and clients easily find what they need. Brand consistency is the foundation for a positive user experience because it delivers a sense of comfort and familiarity. This concept applies to B2C and B2B organizations—small, mid-sized, and enterprise.
Brand consistency is a key factor in the ultimate success of your response management process, whether you are submitting an RFP (request for proposal), SOW (statement of work), security questionnaires or other form of proposals. Let’s dig into several ideas that will help you create a more consistent brand experience throughout the sales process.
Brand consistency techniques for better response management
The average revenue increase attributed to always presenting the brand consistently is 23%. Establishing brand consistency within the response management process allows companies to scale faster.
To build a cohesive brand experience in your response management process, everyone involved in responding to business queries should be aligned by a strategy. Brand consistency is a technique. And like any technique, it takes dedication to master it.
1. Create a messaging framework.
You have a messaging framework for all other marketing content. Your response management process should be treated with the same approach. Often this is not the case, as marketing teams fly into the process much later during review and finalization of the deliverable.
Every marketer should be prepared to put out fires, but that means being prepared well before the fire begins. Proactively create a one-page messaging strategy for each type of business query your team responds to. To serve as a reminder, be sure to include the goal of what your content hopes to achieve at the very top.
2. Optimize your most repetitive responses.
RFP issuers typically ask similar sets of questions, with perhaps a few variations or wild cards along the way. There is no need to create content from scratch every time you respond to a business query. In fact, reinventing the wheel with responses leads to brand consistency challenges.
Repurposing content is perfectly acceptable, assuming you go the extra mile by tailoring the response to address each prospect’s goals and needs. You know the repetitive questions already. Spend time perfecting these responses, so they are optimized and ready to go. And audit this content quarterly, versus setting and forgetting.
“Successful branding yields benefits such as increased customer loyalty, an improved image, and a relatable identity.” – TSL Marketing
3. Standardize information with brand guidelines.
Brand guidelines act as the North Star in standardizing all of your organization’s communication efforts. Yet, typically the response management process tends to go rogue and operate outside these guidelines your marketing team has painstakingly developed.
Contributors from multiple departments respond to questions in an RFP, using their favorite fonts. Headers and lists are mismatched—and you end up with a huge formatting mess. Keep your cool and remember that responders like SMEs and salespeople aren’t nearly as connected to the brand as you are. Make sure responders have a copy of brand guidelines and that they understand how to implement them in everyday situations.
4. Store all content in an accessible location.
Knowledge sharing in our content-driven world is becoming an increasing challenge for organizations. Cloud storage solutions can only do so much. Everyone has their own way of organizing folders and files, leaving a maze of content to navigate.
The best way to create a “grab and go” option with company information is to keep it accessible in one location—preferably an answer library in a response management platform. An answer library stores brand-approved content, allowing responders to quickly hunt down information through searches or filters. And, you get to have a much better handle on brand consistency.
5. Automate your response management process.
Responding to business queries is a notoriously time-consuming activity for you and other contributors. Automating with strong technology really opens the door to a repeatable and scalable process.
A response management platform like RFPIO automates everything, helping teams cut their response time by 40%-50% on average. Even if responders get wildly creative with formatting, you can export into a custom branded template in seconds then perform a quick sweep of the document. Automation frees up your time to produce the highest quality deliverable possible—and, of course—move on to other priorities on your to-do list.
Brand consistency holds a ton of value in steering your approach to response management. How you present these sales documents to a prospect influences whether a potential client becomes your future client…or your competitor’s client.
You already know that people who love your brand then become advocates for your brand. Creating a positive feeling through content that is “on brand” has the power to build relationships and earn trust. It’s time to cultivate a positive brand experience with your response management process too.
Achieving brand consistency is a cinch with RFPIO. Schedule a demo right here and we’ll get you all set up for success.